On Wednesday (25 September), a Facebook page called NUSSU – NUS Student’s United claimed that the National University of Singapore (NUS) was implementing compulsory courses on foreign interference.
The post said that the courses were compulsory for NUS Students’ Union and other student leaders, following the recently cancelled Yale-NUS programme by playwright Alfian Sa’at called ‘Dissent and Resistance in Singapore’.
Yale-NUS College president Tan Tai Yong told ST in response to the latter’s queries that the programme’s material “does not critically engage with the range of perspectives required for a proper academic examination of the political, social and ethical issues that surround dissent”.
“The activities proposed and the selection of some of the speakers for the project will infringe our commitment not to advance partisan political interests in our campus,” he added.
The author of the Facebook post went on to question if the implementation of a course on foreign interference means that non-citizens would be “barred from holding any student leadership position” under the principle of “non-foreign interference”.
“That would be awkward, since NUSSU has had many Malaysian and other foreign student leaders, including the 37th NUSSU president who is a Malaysian,” added the post.
About 13 hours later, an update was made to the original post to say: “NUS claims “there is no such” course, but they never say that was never such course, nor did they say there are no plans to implement such course.”
TOC has reached out to NUS for comments. An NUS spokesperson said, “We are aware of the inaccurate Facebook post, and would like to clarify that there is no such compulsory course at NUS.”